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Drift wood

Danlacey1988

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5 May 2021
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59
Location
Bristol
Has anyone here tried collecting there own drift wood from the beach or a local stream and tried planting say some java fern on it ?
I'm after some tips and the best way to do it
 

arcturus

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6 May 2021
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Germany
Adding wood that was soaked for months or years in salt water to a freshwater aquarium is a recipe for disaster. Random wood found in a stream can release tannins or other substances to the water, rot and have parasites. Wood found in rivers can be dried for several months and then boiled but even so the risk of contaminating the water remains high.
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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1,800
When I was a kid a friends dad used some driftwood he'd found on the beach. From memory he soaked it in a plastic rubbish bin for a couple of months, changing the water occassionally and checked to see if the water was salty before use.
I've used a piece of oak bark I found in a broad once (a few feet across) and just scrubbed it outside and popped it in. I'm pretty laid back so don't really worry about the wood adding anything to the tank provided it looks like it's been in the river for a long time. If you are more cautious then you can soak it, dry it or boil it like arcturus mentions above.
The general advise mentioned alot lately is to add some daphnia to the water that your choice of decor is in and if they live happily enough then it's not doing anything to drastic to the water.
 

Danlacey1988

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5 May 2021
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59
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Bristol
Adding wood that was soaked for months or years in salt water to a freshwater aquarium is a recipe for disaster. Random wood found in a stream can release tannins or other substances to the water, rot and have parasites. Wood found in rivers can be dried for several months and then boiled but even so the risk of contaminating the water remains high.
Would using wood from a forest that I soak in a tub for ages work?
 

Danlacey1988

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Bristol
My local river looks like this so not really the best idea using anything from here
 

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mort

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Would using wood from a forest that I soak in a tub for ages work?

There are plenty of sources of safe wood. In a forest oak is probably the easiest and best but beech works well as well. Old dead wood that's still firm is the easiest to use and oak heartwood is very durable.
You can use fruit wood as well and the methods of preparation depends on what you use. A decent sizes branch can be soaked so it sinks and then have the bark scraped off, with thinner branches you don't necessarily need to strip the bark unless you are really cautious.

Wood can generally be used quite quickly after its become waterlogged but can release tannins for a very long time so the longer you soak it the less it will colour your water.
 

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